MMA-backed Legislation Continues Making Progress

[MMA News Now, April 10, 2014] Heading into the Easter/Passover break, MMA-backed legislation continued moving forward at the Capitol. Following is an update on recent progress.

Prescription Opioids
On April 8, the Senate voted unanimously for a bill (SF 1900) that would make naloxone (an opioid overdose antidote) available to first responders, and would allow people who witness an overdose to call 911 and receive limited immunity from prosecution. The House is expected to take up its version of the bill after the break.

All-Payer Claims Database
On April 9, the House approved a bill that would increase the use of the all-payer claims database and eliminate the Provider Peer Grouping program (HF 2656). The bill passed, 80-48, with bipartisan support. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation after the break.

Negotiations continue regarding the legislation supporting increased independence of advanced practice registered nurses. MMA opposes this legislation. (HF 435, SF 511).

Additional Non-MMA Priority Legislation:

A bill strengthening Minnesota’s bullying prevention efforts was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton on April 9. The MMA is a member of the Minnesota Safe Schools for All Coalition, which supported the legislation. The Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, also a Coalition member, worked to get the legislation passed.

Synthetic Drugs
On April 9, the House voted unanimously to support a bill (HF 2446) that tightens regulations on synthetic drugs, a significant issue in the Duluth area. The MMA has been supportive of this measure, which is meant to stop the retail sale of products that mimic illegal street drugs.

Medical Marijuana
A bill to authorize the use of medical marijuana (SF 1641) was heard in the Senate’s Health, Human Services and Housing Committee on April 10. The committee tabled it for further discussion after the break. On March 15, the MMA board of trustees voted to not support the legislation and has called for more research on the drug.

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